Can 1 dog pull a sled? Tips and Tricks

Can a lab pull a sled?

They are great dogs and make wonderful Working Dogs. In fact, a Lab needs a job. They are happier with a job. Hunting, Seeing Eye Dogs, Search & Rescue, Pulling a Wagon, Backpacking, Tracking, Flyball, Frisbee, Conformational or Obedience Show Ring, whatever you teach them, they are versatile and wonderful dog.

A kick sled is designed to be propelled by human-powered kicking (which explains the name), and is ideal for one or two dogs. Your dog can pull a kick sled, with you adding most of the propulsion of kicking. Kick sleds do need a few modifications before you can hook up a dog up and go. One includes the addition of a bridle, which will need to be attached to your kick sled properly. The bridle allows the sled to follow the dogs safely around corners and gives greater control at higher speeds.

If at all possible, arrange a test drive on the model of sled you plan to purchase. Each sled handles a little differently, and you’re going to want a sled you are going to enjoy for years to come.

Let’s start with the dogs. Assuming your dog who is 40 lbs or over, you can safely mush with your dog. I don’t mean to be sizeist, but generally speaking, a dog under 30 lbs might not have a sturdy enough frame to be able to pull a sled safely. I know, I know; there are plenty of small dogs who would make eager pullers, but putting that much strain on such a small frame can have long term consequences! Is it worth it? I’d have to say “No.”

To steer the sled, the musher stands on the back and leans to control direction. Dog sleds are typically equipped with a brake, and larger teams require a snow hook. The brake can be used to control the speed of the sled down a hill or around a corner, but is unlikely to stop or even slow a larger, more powerful team.

Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: “Get outside and play with your dogs!

Can my dog pull a sled?

In fact, any athletic, energetic dog can learn to pull a sled. Sled dogs should be at least medium-sized, 30 pounds and up (source).

Togo Mini kick sled unboxing and review with one dog pulling

Many dogs have an innate drive to pull. Dogs such as huskies and malamutes were bred for the task. If you have a working breed of dog, it can be very rewarding to tap into that innate desire and participate in a pulling activity, such as sledding, skijoring or weight pulling. The training for all of these activities are basically the same, and the biggest challenge will be overcoming how well you trained your dog not to pull when on a leash.